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Packers will have to manage without left tackle David Bakhtiari against Texans

Jim Owczarski
Packers News

GREEN BAY - There was some hope the Green Bay Packers could give David Bakhtiari until Sunday morning to see whether the All-Pro left tackle could play through a chest injury suffered last Sunday at Tampa Bay. But the Packers ruled Bakhtiari out Saturday before the team left for Houston.

It's the first game the 29-year-old will miss since a hamstring injury sidelined him for five games at the start of the 2017 season.

“There’s always a special relation between a starting quarterback and left tackle; a lot of trust goes into it being a right-handed quarterback,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said this week. “If he can’t go we’re going to have to see who’s in there and make sure they feel comfortable from the first snap on.”

Veteran Rick Wagner subbed in for Bakhtiari against Tampa Bay, but the Packers may elect to slide left guard Elgton Jenkins over or flip right tackle Billy Turner to the left side and have Wagner move in at right tackle.

With some shuffling on the offensive line about to happen, the Packers quickly signed Ben Braden to the 53-person roster. Braden, who appeared in three games for the New York Jets in 2018 and '19, has bounced around the Jets', Packers' and New England Patriots' practice squads since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017.

Braden was just signed to the practice squad on Wednesday.

Martin, Winn join roster

Fifth-round draft pick Kamal Martin, who had been practicing the last two weeks while on injured reserve following knee surgery in August, was activated to the 53-person roster on Saturday.

Martin, a 6-foot, 3-inch, 240-pound inside linebacker, had been on track to start alongside Christian Kirksey before suffering in the injury in a scrimmage-like setting at Lambeau Field near the end of training camp. 

The Packers also signed 31-year-old defensive tackle Billy Winn to the 53-person roster. Winn was signed to the practice squad in mid-September and was shuffled up to the active game-day roster for the games against New Orleans and Atlanta.

With Tyler Lancaster (shoulder) already ruled out for the game in Houston and Montravius Adams missing Friday’s practice with a foot injury, the Packers needed to add depth.

Winn played a total of 17 defensive snaps in those two games.

He had to be signed to the 53-person roster, as another practice squad call-up would have made him subject to waivers.

Burgess signs

The Packers agreed in principle earlier in the week to sign James Burgess off the Atlanta practice squad, but the 26-year-old veteran inside linebacker had to pass six days of COVID-19 tests and a physical before finally doing so.

On Instagram, Burgess wrote “signed the dotted line excited to new beginning thanking the man above” under an altered image of him in a Packers uniform.

He was placed on the exempt/commissioner permission list. 

Packers add depth from practice squad

After not shuffling up any players off the practice squad for the game at Tampa Bay, the Packers called up running back Dexter Williams and rookie safety Henry Black for the game in Houston. Black's promotion likely means starting safety Danrell Savage will be out with a quad injury. He did not practice all week, leaving the team thin with only Will Redmond and Raven Greene alongside Adrian Amos.

Starting running back Aaron Jones is managing a calf injury, which means the team would also be thin at that position if he cannot play. Williams was on the 53-person roster all of last season for the Packers.